Call for online co-operation to curb sexual exploitation in cyberspace

PACE general rapporteur calls for more online co-operation to curb sexual exploitation in cyberspace

Strasbourg, 17.10.2013 – “To fight trafficking in human beings, we must also curb demand – especially as concerns women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation,” said José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), PACE’s General Rapporteur on violence against women, speaking on the eve of the 7th EU Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October 2013). “This applies to any place where demand and supply meet, including in cyberspace.”

“Cyberspace can be a threat especially for younger people: recruitment of victims of sexual exploitation often takes place there. The situation could and should change radically. First of all, law enforcement officials should do more to pursue traffickers hiding in the anonymity of the web. Secondly, prevention should be carried out in cyberspace, which is a tremendous tool for awareness-raising and dissemination of information. The authorities should establish closer co-operation with relevant stakeholders, such as social media and dating sites.”

“Effective action against trafficking requires prevention, protection of victims and prosecution of traffickers. On the occasion of Anti-Trafficking Day, I call on Council of Europe member states to fully exploit modern technologies to these ends,” concluded Mr Mendes Bota.